Saga HoloBike Puts 3D Holographic Footage on an Exercise Bike

It looks like any exercise bike. Except… you know… it looks a little fancier than your typical fare, kind of like a bike you’ll see at a pricey boutique gym. The Saga HoloBike doesn’t just look fancy, it gets a fancy new feature, too, that sets it apart from modern exercise bikes with integrated screens.

You know how the current generation of connected exercise bikes have screens that show you virtual paths, so you can feel like you’re riding through them, instead of simply pedaling in place? Well, this one takes things one step further by giving you a holographic display, which should help make the virtual trail feel a lot more immersive.

The Saga Holobike has a frame much like your standard exercise bike, with handlebar and screen out front, along with a seat, pedals, and an electromagnetic resistance system in the back. As with similar exercise bikes, the handlebars, seat, and screen are all adjustable, so you can raise or lower them (and move the seat forwards or backwards) for the most comfortable riding posture. That means, you can use this like any old exercise bike even if you don’t engage the unique holographic system. According to the outfit, the bike’s design is based on classic road bikes.

Of course, the big selling point here is the 27-inch light field display, which produces 3D holographic images by combining a 4K LCD panel with a thin sheet of microlenses. According to the outfit, the display simulates the human perception of moving through 3D space, which creates an entirely fresh immersive experience for indoor training. Since the appearance of 3D images can change depending on your viewing angle, the device comes with an IR depth sensor that dynamically responds to your line-of-sight, so even if you move your head around while pedaling, the 3D images will respond accordingly to keep everything consistent.

The Saga Holobike doesn’t use prerecorded video like other exercise bikes use for their virtual trails. Instead, they use AI-generated video based on volumetric scans of real-world trails, so there’s more of a game-like feeling when traversing their virtual environments. According to Saga, the display houses the most powerful computer you’re going to find in a consumer fitness device, which makes sense, considering the amount of processing power required to produce all that holographic footage. As of now there are a limited amount of trails available on the device, but they should be able to make a whole lot more a lot faster, since they’re not dependent on manually filming the scenes.

When riding through the virtual trails, the bike’s resistance dynamically adjusts to mimic actions like hill climbs and gear shifting, which we’ve also seen in some of the best exercise bikes out there. Sure, it’s not as immersive as a bike that can mimic riding angles and weight shifting, but it should make indoor riding just a bit more fun. It takes up 59 x 26 inches of floor space.

A Kickstarter is currently running for the Saga Holobike. You can reserve a unit for pledges starting at $2,599.

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